October 31, 2009
The Tamron SP AF10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD Aspherical [IF], is a super wide angle zoom for the DX format cameras. The 10-24mm Tamron has a built-in motor for the focusing, making it compatible with all of the Nikon Dslr's on the market today. The main problem with DX sized cameras was the lack of wide angle lenses, but these gaps are finally getting closed as most of the manufactures offer different solutions these days. From the Nikon perspective the original Nikkor lenses are too expensive in my opinion. There is no doubt that Tamron has produced great optics in the past, the question is do they still? The test camera is as always the Nikon D3, and the Nikon D2H IR.
|| 12 elements in 9 groups
||108°44' - 60°20' Nikon DX
|Minimum focus distance:
|| 0.24m / (9.4")
||Flower-shaped Lens hood
||Front lens cap
Rear lens cap
ø83.2mm x 86.5mm (3.1in x 3.9in)
|| 406g (14.3oz.)
|| 9 blades
||$ 479.95 USD*
- Price, Nikon's 10-24mm costs $789.95. Tamron makes this one for less then $500USD, Nikon wake up!
- Did I mention the price?
- Build quality, lens feel sturdy and solid.
- Zoom ring rubber, far better then any of the other Tamron lenses I've owned before.
- IR performance is overall good, and focus shift is minimal,
- 6 Year warranty (with a catch, Only Tamron lenses imported officially by Tamron USA, Inc. and distributed by authorized Tamron USA, Inc. dealers carry a Six-Year Limited USA warranty)
- AF/MF switch is to small.
- 10mm performance, even wide open.
- Very low distortion, especially at the 10mm side.
- AF speed could be better.
- No dust seal around the lens mount, like Nikon's newer lenses.
- Variable aperture, although at this price you can't really complain too much.
- Vignetting, there are some light fall-off at 10mm, stop down to f/5.6 and it's hard to detect any.
- No DOF / IR markings. Unfortunately there is no Depth Of Field scale or Infrared compensation markings on the lens.
- 24mm performance. At 24mm the lens requires some stopping down to reach it's potential. Wide open center is ok sharp, but edges are soft.
- Soft corners, unless you stop down quite a bit, especially at 24mm.
This lens is an incredible value for money. The lens outperforms it's price with ease. The Nikon alternative is almost twice as expensive. This lens might be a good addition if you are doing architectures or interior shots, as the level of distortion is very low. On the performance side,
some purple fringing can be seen at the edges of the frame, mostly at 10mm, and on close focus. In most of my test shooting this was more or less non-existent. diffraction starts kicking in at f/16, it's not too bad at all at f/16 though. The f/22 the picture is quite soft onscreen. Adding a a bit of sharpening and pictures look acceptable printed out on 13x19in paper. The main drawback of the Tamron is the 24mm performance and the softness in the corners. Wide open center is sharp enough(10mm), but the corners are soft. This goes pretty much for the entire zoom range, but I find it worst at 24mm. Stopping down to f/8 and the corners are coming together. The AF speed could be better, it's not the slowest AF lens I've tried but it's far from the quickest. IR performance, there are sometimes a hint of a Hot-spot at f/22. I only saw this a few times, and when it is there it's minimal(check sample pictures at the bottom). Overall this lens performs, and I don't see any reason to be disappointed with the performance of it, especially when you factor in the cost of the lens.
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Purchasing items through these links helps me adding more content to this website. The links takes you to B&H's website, which is my recommended store to get equipment from. I've used B&H personally since 2005, and I get all my equipment from them these days(including the lenses used for these reviews). Thanks for your support, Fredrik.
Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124AF Pro DX. $399.95 USD
Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX. $599.95 USD
Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX. $579.95 USD
Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM. $479.00 USD
Tamron SP 11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD ASP. $519.95 USD (rebate available offer ends 2009-12-31)
Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX Price From: $789.95 USD
Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Price From: $989.95 USD
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S. From: $1,789.95 USD
*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from October 31, 2009
Images have been imported to photoshop CS4 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images. Click on the images to download the full resolution sample image.